Decided to overhaul my 25 year-old Miyata 912 to get the feel of old down tube-shifting steel. New tires, tubes, brake pads, cables, freewheel, chain, bearings. I'm sticking with a 6-speed freewheel although I believe I can upgrade to a narrower 7-speed setup. Should be an interesting comparison to my Giant OCR1. Wheels were mounted with 700Cx23 rubber and I don't recall very many flats during several centuries, but I probably only weighed 190 back then. Only change from a stock 912 was a conversion to a triple chainring. I don't know how these older frames stand up strength-wise, but I recall the bike as being pretty comfortable.
Pictures after I've completed the overhaul of course. Bike has been sitting around for the better part of 20 years. Shifters are not indexed, but I'll stick with a 6-speed freewheel for now. After I've fixed up my 912 I'll work on my Wife's old 912. I believe one derailleur is bent so I may have to put a new RD on one of the bikes. Not sure about the freewheel manufacturer (yet), but all other equipmetn is Shimano 600. I was going to sell these on Craigslist and did get a lot of responses, but I was on unexpected travel for two weeks and experienced a change of heart.
It's interesting that when I first got on a bike again after almost 20 years the prospect of downtube shifting didn't seem too inviting, but now that I'm comfortable again I'm welcoming the challenge of having to develop that shifting touch. Not going to convert my new ride to friction shifting, however.